Thursday, December 19, 2013

Homemade Bulletproof Armor - Ceramic / Fiberglass Shard

This armor is a ceramic-fiberglass composite constructed from an ordinary bathroom tile and fiberglass woven roving which are glued together with polyester resin. Either porcelain or ordinary ceramic tile can be used.  Check out the video here:

The basic design is to encapsulate the tile in a sheet of fiberglass and resin, where there is at least one layer on the threat side to keep it held together and control fragmentation, and many more layers on the back side to capture and prevent spall. The idea is that the hard tile will fracture or blunt the incoming bullet so it can be stopped with fewer layers of fiberglass than an armor that is made from only fiberglass.

The fiberglass fabric is cut to the right size with a sharp box-cutter blade, the tile centered on the ply, and the excess material is folded around the back. This gives 1 layer of fiberglass on the front, and 8 layers on the back due to the folds. This will thicken the tile by about 1/8th of an inch. The shard is saturated with resin and clamped between two wood sheets using saran wrap as a mold release.

An additional armor shard was constructed with two sheets of woven roving which gives 2 fragmentation layers on the front and 16 spall layers on the back. This was done to provide another test piece in case the first armor piece failed to stop the bullet.

The armor pieces can be any size, which is dictated by the size of the tile used. The two armor pieces were created with a tile that 4.25" square. The armor "shards" can either be incorporated into a larger solid panel, or perhaps used individually in an overlapping configuration to create a flexible vest. Either way they are easy to construct and test in bulk without using much material.

Test Results and Analysis:

The first armor tile with 1x8 layers successfully stopped a single 9mm FMJ bullet fired from a pistol-length barrel. The second piece also stopped 9mm without any issues. Therefore it was determined that a single ply of WR is all that is needed to make this armor stop one round of 9mm FMJ. Multiple shots to the same piece were not tested.

The video of the test is here:

The 1x8 tile below with the bullet fragments extracted from the front using a pair of needle nose pliers. The full metal jacket bullet was completely mushroomed and broke into multiple fragments within the tile itself - I didn't find any evidence that the fragments even reached the spall liner.

There were numerous granules of the ceramic tile in the impact crater as well. The combination of the bullet and armor fragments (spall), and have been easily caught by the layers of woven roving on the back of the tile.

It would be interesting to see what additional pistol bullets that this armor could stop.


Anonymous said...

i would be very interested to see multiple hits to armor..convex vs.flat for delamination efficiency. also in your video if you had made a box style compression frame would that improve edge retention...and last but not least do you think that coatings to the front of the plates could reduce bullet velocity

Anonymous said...

2 layers of tile each wrapped like vid with 1 layer of polycarbonate plastic in between the 2 put in vacuum bag. Thanks for your info and your time you put in to these projects have seen most.
thank you

Gunner Jacky said...

These bulletproof jackets can be really a safety measure for those who are associated with guns and bullets , specially for those who work as guards and safeguard the lives of oneself and others. These safety devices are actually very efficient and effective in making the security forces confident enough to fight without fear.
MA Gun License

Isabel Bent said...

Valuable information and have a very nice quality i really appreciate your work.
First Responder

Hill said...

We’ve been stumbling around the internet and found your blog along the way.

We love your work! What a great corner of the internet :)

pave tile - website

Anonymous said...

I have some firehose material I'm going to try with resin. It was free.